μ-blog


Over the last few months, it’s become really obvious how much sunlight affects my mood levels.

If I commute in darkness, I’m miserable.
If I commute in daylight, I’m a lot happier.

This might sound a bit like seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and I do wonder if it’s something like that. SAD is a type of depression that follows the seasons, and is usually worse in winter.

I have friends with fairly severe SAD, who feel tired all the time during the winter months, and it’s never been as bad as that for me, so until now I’ve assumed I didn’t have any form of SAD.

Maybe I do, maybe I don’t – but I can look to SAD treatment for tips and ideas to make my life easier. In particular, getting as much natural light as possible, and a sun lamp or six. (I have a friend with a small solar system in their front room, and the effect on their mood is ~noticeable~.)

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you might want to check out medical advice for SAD, and try some of the coping mechanisms yourself.

In the meantime, spring is fast approaching – just check out this blue sky from today’s commute:

(This post originally appeared on Twitter.)

This ship has long since sailed, but yesterday I found another reason to be a bit sad that TfL has phased out cash as a payment mechanism.

I logged into my Oyster account for the first time today, and I was struck by how much location data they have. You can reconstruct a large chunk of my diary from that data – for any Tube station or bus stop outside the core, there’s only really one person I would be visiting, and now you know when and for how long I was with them.

Intellectually, I knew this was happening – if I’m using the same card each time, I’d almost be more surprised if they weren’t recording the fine-grained data. But it’s sobering to see it all laid out, in complete and unerring detail.

I’ve never had to worry about stalkers or people coming after me, but I’d be pretty unnerved if I was.

Cash lets you travel anonymously, but you can’t use it on buses, and paper tickets on the Tube are more expensive. So if you’re somebody who doesn’t want your location tracked – or doesn’t have a card you can use – public transport in London is a bit harder for you to use.

A couple of examples sprang to mind:

There are probably others, and while your Tube data along might not give away your secrets, it could prompt awkward questions.

(This post originally appeared on Twitter.)